Frameline36 is here and queer and Eau Claire students are basking in every moment. With the festival moving forward at full speed, they dove head first into one of the first films to really spark some serious conversation.
On June 15th the student’s had their first encounter with a shorts program, Battlefield, and they were able to truly absorb the power and artistry that even just a few short minutes of film can hold. Just as this series was intended to represent diverse gay and bisexual men’s themes, so too did students begin their Frameline36 quest to find unqiue, individual connections to these stories and images.
Andrea Van Haren, for instance, forged a very visual relation to Prora, saying “The whole film was simply beautiful. Director Stephane Riethauser picked a setting with a dark history but the building and surrounding area were still stunning. The shots that gave a panoramic view of the Nazi-built holiday camp were incredible.” Another student, Pete Hellios, made an equally observant point about the double oppression in Darius Monroe’s Slow which blended strong screenwriting with compelling cinematography that utilized narrow camera angles to portray a character who was visually impaired’s experience and create a “sense of isolation one can feel both being a gay male, but also being blind.” Bridget Oliver noted, that the use of color was also an important facet of this with red dominating not just set and costume design, but even the tint chosen editing that gave a warm, inviting glow. This distinctive choice Oliver describes as “beautifully constructed with a close-up on the man’s face…The pale blue-grey of his eyes is a stark contrast to the deep reds that the film has carried and adds an extra emotional impact to the shot.” These were some of the standouts for the students, but this series offered four additional unique shorts: Battlefield (Tim Marshall), The Eyes and the Ice (Ian Samuels), First Birthday (Andrew Ahn), and Sabbatical (Glenn Kiser).